Teucrium parvifolium


parvifolium: small-leafed

Common Name(s)

Teucrium parvifolium (Hook.f.) Kattari et Salmaki

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Declining

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - At Risk - Declining
2004 - Gradual Decline


2012 - Sp
2009 - Sp



Brief Description

Rare shrub to 2m tall with yellowish wide-angled square branches bearing pairs of small rounded soft leaves and small white flowers inhabiting drier areas. Leaves 4-12mm long. Flowers with a few projecting curved filaments. Fruit dry.

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Teucridium parvifolium var. luxurians Cheeseman,, Teucridium parvifolium Hook.f.


Endemic to New Zealand, occurring sporadically from Northland to Southland, but commoner in the east of both islands.


Along fertile stream sides and river terraces in lowland dry forest and podocarp-hardwood forest; occasionally on forest margins, clearings and amongst scrub.


A small-leaved shrub to 2 m. Young stems are orange or brown, square in cross-section and finely hairy. Leaves are in opposite pairs, round, dull green or brown-green; up to 12 mm long on stalks of equal length. Flowers are small (8 mm diameter), white (rarely bluish) with 5 irregular petal lobes. Fruit is a group of 4 seeds held within a persistent calyx.

Similar Taxa

Small, round-leaved Coprosma species are similar, but easily distinguished by their round or oval stems, leaf domatia (or pits in the leaf near the midrib) and a small, pointed ‘stipule’ running across the stem between each leaf pair. Neomyrtus pedunculata has square stems, but they are hairless while the leaves are shiny and gland-dotted.


Flowering occurs from October to January.

Flower Colours



Fruiting from December to March.

Propagation Technique

Easy from fresh seed and semi-hardwood cuttings. A very hardy shrub which is tolerant of a wide range of habitats, soils types and moisture regimes.


Forest clearance, rural development, stock and feral animal browse, invasive weeds.

Chromosome No.

2n = 64

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Occasionally available from commercial nurseries. An attractive shrub which should be more widely grown.

Taxonomic Notes

Long regarded as an endemic, monotypic genus Teucridium, recent phylogenetic studies have clearly established that the genus is better merged within an expanded concept of Teucrium (Salmaki et al. 2016).


References and further reading

Salmaki, Y.; Kattari, S.; Heubl, G.; Bräuchler, C. 2016: Phylogeny of non-monophyletic Teucrium (Lamiaceae: Ajugoideae): Implications for character evolution and taxonomy. Taxon 65: 805–822

This page last updated on 18 Jun 2018